I remember back when my mom and several ladies would gather together in the morning to sit, drink coffee, and ‘visit’, (not one of them would admit to Gossip). However, it was funny how they hustled their children off to school, pushing us out the door before getting dressed and hotfooting it down the street.
The days of the Kaffee Klatsch seem to be long passed. And it’s a shame. I know for a fact that there was a bit of gossip, but I also remember eavesdropping once and listening to boring stuff like which grocery store had hamburger on sale, or where to get the best price on shoes for the children. I heard stories of, ‘When I was young, my Mama…’, and then there was always the recipe swap. Much to my dismay, I also heard a few ideas of Capital Punishment for Children, which was usually about the time I hurried outside, praying I wouldn’t get caught listening and discovering firsthand how cruel some of those punishments could be.
Today I realized the Kaffee Klatsch has been revived, with a bit of a switch. Instead of gossipy women, it hosts a group of gossipy men. There is this one man that is always talked about. His name is ‘This Old Boy’. Now, This Old Boy, Tob for short, is a very busy man. Tob was in Natchitoches, Minden, Ringgold and Coushatta, all at the same time. Depending on the day, he either doesn’t have the sense that God gave a Goose, or he is downright brilliant for the swap he made – seems he traded some guy a wild pig for a brand new tractor.
Tob’s daddy was tighter than a tick but had the nicest, weed-free pastures you’ll ever see. Unfortunately, Tob didn’t inherit that skill, but he could grow more vegetables than anyone in the weediest patch around. Tob went to an auction and got a baler for chicken feed, but with that price, surely it would fall apart with the first pass.
It’s always nice when conversation shifts to solutions to world problems. Of course, the world around here stops about 25 miles out, so it’s not too hard to do. This is when we find out that Tob has got a tractor for sale, or has the parts needed to fix a baler. The best prices for fertilizer is offered, and even a few recipes are swapped.
I am still only an eavesdropper, and virtually invisible, but I wish they would tell me where Tob lives. I heard he has a single cow milker that I would love to get my hands on.